Ask ten people on the street what associations they have when they hear the word "Twitter" and you will get a mixture of "Pictures of food," "Useless political debates," and "Ridiculous bursts of so-called experts who think they're smart." It is a good thing then, that you, as an entrepreneur, aren't asking people on the street what platform to use for your marketing, because Twitter, even in 2018 remains one of the most powerful ones.
First of all, it is important to mention that all of those things that people think about Twitter? They are all true. Not only that, but there are many more issues with Twitter, as a platform, including abuse and bullying, bots, and misinformation, but that is a topic for another time.
What is important to you, as someone looking to maximize the potential of your marketing spend and leverage the available tools to the best of your ability, is that Twitter, without spending a dime and without even opening your mouth can help you achieve some real results.
Know Your Market in Real-Time
In the olden days, if you wanted to acquire deep insights into your market and your competitors, you might have paid many thousands of dollars to a research firm and they would produce, after a month or two, a comprehensive document with fancy charts and endless numbers for you to never read.
Now? Open Twitter, and search for the name of your competitor. No indexing like Google and no waiting, you will get a real time feed of anything and everything people have to say about your competitors. Do they love them? Hate them? Why? What are most people happy with? What are the most common pain points people are feeling with your biggest competitor?
You want more information on your target audience? Choose a relevant key word or phrase that they would be talking about and search that word. Real time feed, a beautiful thing.
Share the Love and Gain Access
Unlike the Like button on other platforms, the favoriting/liking on Twitter is very subtle and somewhat private. You can use it to curate your favorite content and you can also use it to subtly get on the radar of the person whose tweet your liking. Let me explain.
Imagine you are building a pair of augmented reality glasses. Not so hard to imagine, everyone seems to be doing that nowadays... So you decide that the phrase "AR glasses" is something your potential audience would be talking about. You search that phrase and come across a tweet along the lines of "Wow, brand X's AR glasses need some serious improvement. If only someone would crack this and make glasses I can actually wear."
You, as in your company's Twitter account, favorites that tweet. What happens next? The person who tweeted that will most likely get a notification that her tweet was liked by your brand. Well, till today they had never even heard of your brand. What does that notification do? It causes that person to think to themselves "Interesting. What is this brand? Maybe worth checking out." At which point they might click on your Twitter profile, read your bio, and realize they should know more about what you're building.
All that from one simple click of a like button. And you haven't even opened your virtual mouth yet...
Follow the Cream of the Crop
We can all deny it all we want but one thing, we, as in all humans, share in common, is an ego. We all have it, some just have it in different quantities. When you get a new follow, whether it is your first Twitter follower or your five millionth, somewhere deep down, you like it.
Following someone on Twitter, unlike friending someone on Facebook, requires nothing from them, and is simply a statement from you to them that they interest you.
Following the relevant people in your industry, whether it be journalists, influencers, potential strategic partners, or investors is a super easy and quick way to get on their radar.
What you do once you are on their radar is another question, but by clicking that follow button, you are potentially signaling to that individual that their thoughts are valuable to you and in return, perhaps they should know of your existence.
Searching, liking, and following on Twitter are three examples of things you can do without spending one cent, without writing one character, and all three have the potential to build awareness and cultivate relationships.